Last Updated on September 2, 2021.
Are you ready to strengthen your family? Rituals are a way to develop deep, life-long connections. Try implementing family rituals today!
I drew the little pink heart on my daughter’s arm, and before the ink was dry she touched it, sending me an invisible hug. I could see the love in her eyes. And I said “I’ll see you in a couple days.” She gave me a kiss, and ran off to play.
We’ve been using this little ritual any time I’m separated from Bee for more than a few hours. We both have temporary heart tattoos, and we can send each other hugs, no matter the distance between us. It’s a symbol of our greatest family value: connection.
And it has other benefits, like easing her separation anxiety and offering her a sense of comfort and security.
Rituals play an important part in my family because they help us develop deep bonds.
What are Family Rituals?
Family rituals are regular activities or events that families do together. They often have some significance or value that’s specific to your family. They might be traditions passed down from prior generations, or they may be of religious significance. Rituals are usually small acts, not large events that require a lot planning.
In short, a family ritual is an event that you repeat with your family because it’s important to your family values.
Importance of Family Rituals
These special events make your kids feel special. They give your kids a sense of belonging and significance. It also makes your kids feel safe and secure. And most importantly, it strengthens your family bond as a whole. Here are the major benefits of using family rituals:
Benefits of Family Rituals
- Help kids feel like part of the family
- Provide a source of identity
- Strengthen the family bond
- Offer comfort and security
- Teach values
- Add to the rhythm and seasonality of life
- Pass on cultural and religious heritage
- Connect generations
How to Create Family Rituals
Are you ready to inject a few meaningful family rituals into your family life? Here’s three easy steps to targeting family rituals that are truly meaningful for your family, and how to implement them successfully.
1. Identify Family Values
The first step into creating any kind of family rituals or traditions is to identify the things that are important to you. What are your family values? What are the most important priorities in your life? For some families this may be religious or cultural. For other families it might be social responsibility or familial connections. Take some time to think about and discuss the priorities and values for your immediate family.
2. Brainstorm Ways to Celebrate Values
How can you celebrate your priorities? What can you do to pull those priorities to the forefront of your everyday life? Don’t be afraid to think outside the box! And none of your rituals need to be big or complex. If your family is religious, saying a prayer before meals is an easy way to keep that priority in your daily life. If your family’s number one goal is to develop strong, life-long bonds, then maybe putting personal messages on sticky notes into each other’s lunch boxes is a ritual you can start.
3. Put it on the calendar or make a daily routine
Rituals happen regularly. It might be daily, but it could also be weekly, monthly, or even annually. And we all know that if it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind. So put it on a calendar! Whatever your planning system is, include your rituals. I like digital calendars (like Cozi), but you prefer paper planners. Jot down your planned traditions!
If you’re planning a new daily ritual, it’s a matter of making it a habit. And if you need little reminders, you can place sticky notes in strategic places, keep a note written on your hand for a few days, or set a reminder on your phone or smart home system (like Alexa or Google).
Tips for Family Rituals
It might be easy to overcomplicate the idea of creating meaningful family rituals. Here are a few tips for success:
- Keep them simple
- Only keep rituals that are truly meaningful
- Gather input from family members on values and rituals they want to prioritize
- Be inclusive (include your whole family)
Family Ritual Ideas
Here are simple family rituals we’ve tried in our home. You can use these rituals if they fit into your family’s priorities!
- Family hugs
- Family singing
- Themed or ethnic meals
- Thank you notes
- Walks or hikes
- Call-and-response (Mom: Who are we? Everyone:The Smiths!)
- Movie or game night
- Family show and tell
- Mommy/Daddy Date nights
- Personal notes
- Marking height on door frame
- Watch opening day games for a sport
- Family recipes
- Secret signs of love (wink, hand signal)
- Tidying tasks
- Daily gratitude
- Marking off days on a calendar
- Family meetings
- Lunch box notes
- Family memory jar
- Visit the library
- Signing a tablecloth at Thanksgiving
- Bedtime routines
What You Should Do Next…
Are you ready for more activities to build a rock-solid bond with your kids? Try our Connected Parent Challenge! It’s 15 Days of 15 Minute activities that are sure to improve your connection, diminish bad behavior, and create lasting memories. Plus, I’ll deliver more amazing parenting strategies to your inbox weekly (don’t worry, unsubscribe any time!).
Connect with like-minded moms (and dads!) in our free online community. You’ll find a plethora of resources to help you through your parenting challenges. Plus, you’ll find me there! And I’d love to connect.
Do you need actionable strategies right now? Register for this free 60-minute webinar titled How to Get Kids to Listen, Without Nagging, Yelling or Losing Control. You’ll walk away with parent-tested tactics to get your kids to listen starting today.